Disaster First Recovery Services
The new buzz word we are seeing in the claims adjusting industry is Pre-Loss Planning where professional adjusters are engaged before a loss to conduct a property risk assessment and analysis of your exposure to various perils, as well as implement a post-loss recovery plan with emphasis on having the documentation you will be asked to present in order to get your claim processed and paid. The public adjusters at Tutwiler & Associates have been performing these types of services for condominium associations, multi-family rental communities and commercial business clients for a number of years and have formalized the program into our Disaster First Recovery Services.
If you have not considered using a service to establish the baseline of your building conditions, inventory records, provide a risk analysis, and assist you in a post-loss environment, we encourage you to think of the benefits of this preparation. Having gone through a number of large CAT events over the years, we have seen a pattern develop of requests that insurance companies will make post-loss regarding documents they feel they need in order to process and adjust claims. Through our pre-loss planning, we make sure these requests are anticipated and prepared for in advance to avoid unnecessary delays for our clients.
Calculating damages is only one part of the property claims adjusting dynamic. Make no mistake about it, insurance adjusting is not only estimating, it’s also investigating! From the insurance carrier’s perspective they are always concerned about: 1) Is the loss covered? 2) Is there pre-existing damage? and 3) What is the amount of loss and damages? If you would like to read more about how this program works in practice, read our case study The Benefits of Pre-Loss Property Insurance Claim Preparation and Disaster Planning where we outline what we did for one particular Florida condominium association.
These issues can be answered in whole or part with proper record retention and documentation and can be presented in a timely and professional manner after the loss has occurred, provided you have the foresight to organize these materials. Searching for records after a property loss and attempting to establish a baseline condition of the property may be near impossible. And even if you can locate the required documentation, the process will take away from other concerns such as temporary emergency repairs and mitigation of damage. To put it simply, will you have the time and resources to provide the documentation that may be required and deal with the emergency mitigation issues? Are there better uses of your time for handling other disaster related issues?
This is the main reason Tutwiler & Associates has developed a program called Disaster First Recovery Services which we feel is a valuable resource to our clients. Pre-loss planning coupled with inventorying, record retention of key documents and pre-loss inspection of the covered property is in our view, a very important and critical step which may assist you with quicker advance payments and in general help to expedite the claim adjusting process.
If you live in or own a condominium or are under homeowners association rules and regulations, there will be requirements that certain records, such as board minutes, maintenance records, reserve studies, and other related documents regarding the maintenance, repair and upkeep of the property, be kept and maintained in a secure manner. Typically these records will be requested by the insurance adjuster in order for the carrier to make a determination of the baseline condition of the property at the time of the loss. The insurance carriers and their legal counsel are well versed on this procedure. Please make sure you are well prepared for the records request and investigative part of the property claims adjustment process and consider the value of having a public adjuster at Tutwiler & Associates assistance.
Read more about Disaster Planning in our blog post - Hurricane Disaster Planning - Suggesstions from an Insurance Claim Expert
Continuing Education Courses for Property Managers and Community Association Managers
Tutwiler & Associates is offering two, 2 hour, 2 credit courses. Navigating the Insurance Claim Minefield or Disaster Planning and the Reality of Insurance Claim Outcomes. Call 800-321-4488 to schedule a class for your group.